Care England: Air travel has lessons for social care

Care England chief executive Professor Martin Green has called for a radical and visionary Green Paper that demonstrates the Government is taking a long-term view of social care.

Professor Green was speaking at the Westminster Health Forum event “Next Steps for adult social care in England’ in London on Wednesday January 15. He said it was important that anyone starting work today knows what to expect when they get older and what they and the government expected to “put into the pot”.

“We need a long-term view but at the same time it is important we do not stifle innovation,” he said. “We need a framework that can change and be flexible to meet people’s needs and be clear on how social care will be funded in future.”

Professor Green also talked about the need to integrate health and social care. “But I want to reclaim the term integration. It is not just about integrating the NHS, social care and local authorities. We need to talk about people and how they experience the service.”

He cited the example of air travel where people cross into different countries’ air space: behind the scenes there is necessary administration but passengers do not notice any issues.

“If we can integrate housing, transport and leisure, for example, we can help those who need mental health support. This is not about structured services but about involvement in local communities. The Green Paper must set out a broad vision but one that is focused on the individual.”

In addition, the Green Paper must also address workforce issue, removing silos to make it easier for staff to move between health and social care systems, he added.

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